HC Deb 31 March 1925 vol 182 cc1092-3

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been called to the announcement that the Cardiff office of the French State Railways is to close down; if he has any information as to what proportion of German coals are now being utilised by the French State Railways compared with pre-War years; and whether he is aware that South Wales coalowners were undercut by German coalowners to the extent of 3s. per ton in the last tender recently put forward by the French State Railways?

Colonel LANE-FOX

I have seen in the Press that the German tender for the supply of coal to the French State Rail ways was 3s. lower than the South Wales tender, but I have no official information on the subject. I am aware that the Cardiff office is to be closed. I regret that I have not the information for which he asks about the amount of German coal used on these railways, which consume about one-sixth of the total amount of coal consumed on all the French railways.


In making comparisons between the German coal and the French coal, is it not necessary to consider the fact that in one case you may have as much as 35 per cent. of ash, which would represent nearly half the value, and that you may not be buying coal but may be buying stone? It seems to me that you ought to be in a position to say—


I think the hon. Member had better give me notice of that question.